Switch to: References

Add citations

You must login to add citations.
  1. Universality Caused: The Case of Renormalization Group Explanation.Emily Sullivan - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):36.
    Recently, many have argued that there are certain kinds of abstract mathematical explanations that are noncausal. In particular, the irrelevancy approach suggests that abstracting away irrelevant causal details can leave us with a noncausal explanation. In this paper, I argue that the common example of Renormalization Group explanations of universality used to motivate the irrelevancy approach deserves more critical attention. I argue that the reasons given by those who hold up RG as noncausal do not stand up to critical scrutiny. (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • Universality Reduced.Alexander Franklin - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1295-1306.
    The universality of critical phenomena is best explained by appeal to the Renormalisation Group (RG). Batterman and Morrison, among others, have claimed that this explanation is irreducible. I argue that the RG account is reducible, but that the higher-level explanation ought not to be eliminated. I demonstrate that the key assumption on which the explanation relies – the scale invariance of critical systems – can be explained in lower-level terms; however, we should not replace the RG explanation with a bottom-up (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • On the Renormalization Group Explanation of Universality.Alexander Franklin - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):225-248.
    It is commonly claimed that the universality of critical phenomena is explained through particular applications of the renormalization group. This article has three aims: to clarify the structure of the explanation of universality, to discuss the physics of such RG explanations, and to examine the extent to which universality is thus explained. The derivation of critical exponents proceeds via a real-space or a field-theoretic approach to the RG. Building on work by Mainwood, this article argues that these approaches ought to (...)
    Direct download (12 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations  
  • Approximation and Idealization: Why the Difference Matters.John D. Norton - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):207-232.
    It is proposed that we use the term “approximation” for inexact description of a target system and “idealization” for another system whose properties also provide an inexact description of the target system. Since systems generated by a limiting process can often have quite unexpected, even inconsistent properties, familiar limit systems used in statistical physics can fail to provide idealizations, but are merely approximations. A dominance argument suggests that the limiting idealizations of statistical physics should be demoted to approximations.
    Direct download (13 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   106 citations  
  • Abstraction and its Limits: Finding Space For Novel Explanation.Eleanor Knox - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):41-60.
    Several modern accounts of explanation acknowledge the importance of abstraction and idealization for our explanatory practice. However, once we allow a role for abstraction, questions remain. I ask whether the relation between explanations at different theoretical levels should be thought of wholly in terms of abstraction, and argue that changes of the quantities in terms of which we describe a system can lead to novel explanations that are not merely abstractions of some more detailed picture. I use the example of (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   14 citations  
  • Eschewing Entities: Outlining a Biology Based Form of Structural Realism.Steven French - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 371--381.
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Smaller Than a Breadbox: Scale and Natural Kinds.Julia R. Bursten - 2018 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 69 (1):1-23.
    ABSTRACT I propose a division of the literature on natural kinds into metaphysical worries, semantic worries, and methodological worries. I argue that the latter set of worries, which concern how classification influences scientific practices, should occupy centre stage in philosophy of science discussions about natural kinds. I apply this methodological framework to the problems of classifying chemical species and nanomaterials. I show that classification in nanoscience differs from classification in chemistry because the latter relies heavily on compositional identity, whereas the (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   17 citations  
  • Decoupling Emergence and Reduction in Physics.Karen Crowther - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):419-445.
    An effective theory in physics is one that is supposed to apply only at a given length scale; the framework of effective field theory describes a ‘tower’ of theories each applying at different length scales, where each ‘level’ up is a shorter-scale theory. Owing to subtlety regarding the use and necessity of EFTs, a conception of emergence defined in terms of reduction is irrelevant. I present a case for decoupling emergence and reduction in the philosophy of physics. This paper develops (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  • On Emergence in Gauge Theories at the ’T Hooft Limit‘.Nazim Bouatta & Jeremy Butterfield - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):55-87.
    Quantum field theories are notoriously difficult to understand, physically as well as philosophically. The aim of this paper is to contribute to a better conceptual understanding of gauge quantum field theories, such as quantum chromodynamics, by discussing a famous physical limit, the ’t Hooft limit, in which the theory concerned often simplifies. The idea of the limit is that the number N of colours goes to infinity. The simplifications that can happen in this limit, and that we will consider, are: (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  • Reduction, Emergence, and Renormalization.Jeremy Butterfield - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (1):5-49.
    In previous work, I described several examples combining reduction and emergence: where reduction is understood a la Ernest Nagel, and emergence is understood as behaviour that is novel. Here, my aim is again to reconcile reduction and emergence, for a case which is apparently more problematic than those I treated before: renormalization. My main point is that renormalizability being a generic feature at accessible energies gives us a conceptually unified family of Nagelian reductions. That is worth saying since philosophers tend (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   18 citations  
  • Less is Different: Emergence and Reduction Reconciled. [REVIEW]Jeremy Butterfield - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (6):1065-1135.
    This is a companion to another paper. Together they rebut two widespread philosophical doctrines about emergence. The first, and main, doctrine is that emergence is incompatible with reduction. The second is that emergence is supervenience; or more exactly, supervenience without reduction.In the other paper, I develop these rebuttals in general terms, emphasising the second rebuttal. Here I discuss the situation in physics, emphasising the first rebuttal. I focus on limiting relations between theories and illustrate my claims with four examples, each (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   133 citations  
  • The Infinite Limit as an Eliminable Approximation for Phase Transitions.Vincent Ardourel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:71-84.
  • Economics, Equilibrium Methods, and Multi-Scale Modeling.Jennifer Jhun - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (2):457-472.
    In this paper, I draw a parallel between the stability of physical systems and that of economic ones, such as the US financial system. I argue that the use of equilibrium assumptions is central to the analysis of dynamic behavior for both kinds of systems, and that we ought to interpret such idealizing strategies as footholds for causal exploration and explanation. Our considerations suggest multi-scale modeling as a natural home for such reasoning strategies, which can provide a backdrop for the (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Had We But World Enough, and Time... But We Don’T!: Justifying the Thermodynamic and Infinite-Time Limits in Statistical Mechanics.Patricia Palacios - 2018 - Foundations of Physics 48 (5):526-541.
    In this paper, I compare the use of the thermodynamic limit in the theory of phase transitions with the infinite-time limit in the explanation of equilibrium statistical mechanics. In the case of phase transitions, I will argue that the thermodynamic limit can be justified pragmatically since the limit behavior also arises before we get to the limit and for values of N that are physically significant. However, I will contend that the justification of the infinite-time limit is less straightforward. In (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • Holography and Emergence.Nicholas J. Teh - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):300-311.
    In this paper, I discuss one form of the idea that spacetime and gravity might ‘emerge’ from quantum theory, i.e. via a holographic duality, and in particular via AdS/CFT duality. I begin by giving a survey of the general notion of duality, as well as its connection to emergence. I then review the AdS/CFT duality and proceed to discuss emergence in this context. We will see that it is difficult to find compelling arguments for the emergence of full quantum gravity (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   33 citations  
  • Emergence Without Limits: The Case of Phonons.Alexander Franklin & Eleanor Knox - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:68-78.
    Recent discussions of emergence in physics have focussed on the use of limiting relations, and often particularly on singular or asymptotic limits. We discuss a putative example of emergence that does not fit into this narrative: the case of phonons. These quasi-particles have some claim to be emergent, not least because the way in which they relate to the underlying crystal is almost precisely analogous to the way in which quantum particles relate to the underlying quantum field theory. But there (...)
    Direct download (10 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  • Phase Transitions: A Challenge for Reductionism?Patricia Palacios - unknown
    In this paper, I analyze the extent to which classical phase transitions, especially continuous phase transitions, impose a challenge for reduction- ism. My main contention is that classical phase transitions are compatible with reduction, at least with the notion of limiting reduction, which re- lates the behavior of physical quantities in different theories under certain limiting conditions. I argue that this conclusion follows even after rec- ognizing the existence of two infinite limits involved in the treatment of continuous phase transitions.
    No categories
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • How Dimensional Analysis Can Explain.Mark Pexton - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2333-2351.
    Dimensional analysis can offer us explanations by allowing us to answer What-if–things-had-been-different? questions rather than in virtue of, say, unifying diverse phenomena, important as that is. Additionally, it is argued that dimensional analysis is a form of modelling as it involves several of the aspects crucial in modelling, such as misrepresenting aspects of a target system. By highlighting the continuities dimensional analysis has with forms of modelling we are able to describe more precisely what makes dimensional analysis explanatory and understand (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  • Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Quantum Systems: Emergence or Reduction?Nicolaas P. Landsman - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):379-394.
    Beginning with Anderson, spontaneous symmetry breaking in infinite quantum systems is often put forward as an example of emergence in physics, since in theory no finite system should display it. Even the correspondence between theory and reality is at stake here, since numerous real materials show ssb in their ground states, although they are finite. Thus against what is sometimes called ‘Earman's Principle’, a genuine physical effect seems theoretically recovered only in some idealisation, disappearing as soon as the idealisation is (...)
    Direct download (12 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations